Different formats have different ways, but for OBJ and FBX exports (what I needed) with textures, not only you’ll need the file itself, but also the texture files (images, if any), and, alternatively, a material files that maps between the two of them.

For OBJ files, you’ll also have a MTL file that has that mapping between objects and the textures. OBJ files are also text-readable, so you can do that without any importing/exporting if you dare, but it might be very tricky identifying the right objects.

For FBX files, the paths to the textures can be embedded. Notice that they include both the relative and absolute file to the path. Having the absolute path means that you can move the FBX around in your same computer and it will find the textures anyway, but if you send this file to someone else, they can see the folder structure where you used the files. (Just the folder names.) For the relative paths, it means you can share the FBX files and the texture files, just ensuring they are in the same place, relative to one another.

As an example, my FBX file had a tex folder where all the texture images where stored.

My OBJ file had a MTL file of the same name, and also the text folder with all the texture images.